• Splintered - AG HowardSplintered
  • A Matter of Fate - Heather Lyons
  •  inescapable - amy a bartol
  •  graceling - kristin cashore
  •  someone to love - addison moore
  •  breaking beautiful - jennifer shaw wolf
  •  the perfect game - j sterling
  •  the edge of never - ja redmerski
  •  independence - shelly crane

Thursday, May 17, 2012

{Review, Interview & Giveaway} Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn

Open Minds
by Susan Kaye Quinn
Series:  Mindjack Trilogy (#1)
Publisher:  CreateSpace
Pages:  326
Source:  e-book courtesy of Susan Kaye Quinn in exchange for a fair and honest review
Available as of November 1, 2011
Barnes & Noble | Amazon
The Book Depository | Books-A-Million

When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.

Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can’t read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can’t be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf’s mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she’s dragged deep into a hidden world of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her.


My Review:
Susan Kaye Quinn created a world where mind reading is possible, most everyone does it, and you're nothing if you can't. With the perfect balance of romance, action, and deceit, you will be dying to know what happens next.

Zero's are looked down upon. 
They can't communicate with their minds. 
They can't be trusted. 

Readers are superior. 
They can't touch in public. 
They can't keep secrets.

Kira is a zero, a nobody. She doesn't mind it entirely, but she wants to fit in and be a reader so she can finally tell her best friend, Raf, that she loves him. Until she becomes a reader, she can't be with him. Then to make matters worse, she almost kills him. Feeling guilty and afraid of what she did, she stays away from him only to fall into another guys arms. She doesn't really have feelings for the other guy, but he explains to her what she is. She isn't a zero that's for sure. If anything, she is cautious, smart, has a soft spot for changelings and works well under pressure.

I really enjoyed Open Minds because it was different from what I normally read. My favorite thing about the book was that it wasn't a love story. Yes, there were two guys of interest, but it was never the sole focus. I also liked that all of my questions about the characters were answered by the end of the book. I wasn't left feeling like there was something missing because all of the loose ends were tied up when I got to the last page. This is one of the very few books I've read where I was only left with questions about what would happen next; it was refreshing. No big cliffhangers to make me antsy, just pure anticipation.

There is only one thing I didn't like about the book and it was a scene that upset me. I can't say much on the topic because it's a spoiler, but I can say that it was a minor detail that I wish didn't happen, but I understand why it did. 

Overall, Open Minds was a fantastic book and I can't wait to see what the next book in the trilogy, Closed Hearts, has in store for us. I highly recommend this book!

While reading Open Minds I felt like I didn't get enough of Raf, so today I asked him to join me for a quick interview to talk a little bit about himself and his relationship with Kira.

Hi Raf.  Thank you so much for joining me today!
*silence* Oh, right, we’re doing this out loud. Sorry. Thanks for having me!

*giggles* No problem. Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you like to do in your spare time?
There’s not much to tell. I’m just a regular guy who plays a lot of soccer. My team, the Blue Devils took championship last fall, and coach is working us really hard to make sure we can do it again. Between that and school and my girlfriend Kira, that takes up most of my time.

Congrats on the championship! Do you have any hobbies?
I’m working on my throwing arm. Kira apparently tossed all the stuffed animals I’d won for her at the state carnivals over the years, so I need to build her collection back up again.

What’s your favorite color?
Blue, of course. Go BLUE DEVILS!

Now that we know a little more about you, let’s talk about your relationship with Kira.  How long have you two known each other?
Pretty much forever. My family moved here from Portugal when I was in Kindergarten, and I spoke about one word of English. I think it was “lunch” because Kira was always making sure I found my way to the cafeteria. We’ve been friends as long as I can remember.

Have you two shared any embarrassing moments together?
Hey, Kira’s been through enough already, okay? Just because she’s famous now doesn’t mean people should go digging into her past. She’s just a normal girl, like everyone else. *takes breath* Sorry. I just ...  there’s been a lot of tru-casters pestering her for interviews, you know?

She has gotten pretty famous so I understand. Before the fame, what was your favorite thing to do together when you were younger?
We actually used to play soccer together, before she went all band geek on me. *grins* Mostly I hung out at her house and tried not to get trampled by her big brother Seamus. That guy is HUGE. Just sayin ... it’s no wonder I didn’t ask her out for the longest time.

Did anything change when you became a reader?
*pauses* Yeah. It was tough. I mean, once you get over the changeling part, where your mindreading ability flips on and off randomly - and always at the worst time, it seems - you become part of the world in a way you weren’t before. It’s like there’s all these things - these thoughts - going on that you never knew about before. I can totally see why it drives some people crazy. So, I could read everyone’s thoughts - all the embarrassing stuff, but also all the sweet things. Everyone except Kira. It was like she had been walled up in high tower, as if she was some kind of princess from a fairy tale. Although Kira’s about as far from being a princess as any girl I can imagine.

How has becoming a reader affected your relationship?
Not knowing her thoughts was tough, but knowing what everyone else was thinking about her? That just about killed me. It kind of made me ... protective, I guess? I had to restrain myself ... a lot ... especially around some of the guys with the things they were thinking about her. I mean, yeah, she’s drop dead gorgeous, but that doesn’t mean they have to be pravers about it.

When did you know that you were falling for her?
About the same time that not being a reader started to get to her - fall of Sophomore year. I remember this one moment in particular. We weren’t doing anything special, just hanging out in the library after school, studying. Some guys passed by, thinking some trash about her. Of course I wanted to pound them, but what stopped me wasn’t just that I’d probably get detention. Or even that it would probably do no good. I stopped because I was afraid that Kira would realize how I felt about her - and I was afraid she would think I was a praver, like them. It took me a long time to work up the courage to let her know how I felt. And, well, that didn’t exactly go as planned, but not for the reasons I originally thought.

When you learned Kira was a jacker, did it change your perception of her?
I have to admit, it kind of freaked me out in the beginning. But I know Kira - she’s a good person. She cares for people - too much sometimes. If people could see that about her, they would know - it doesn’t matter if you’re a mindjacker or a mindreader. What matters is who you are inside. And Kira - she’s amazing inside.

Last question, what are your hopes for the future with her?
Like I keep telling Kira, the world’s just crazy right now. Eventually they’ll settle down, and then we can be together like we should - no lies, no hiding. No one judging us for who we are. It will take time, but eventually the world will see what I do: that we don’t have to be afraid of mindjackers like her - she’s just a regular person like the rest of us.

Thank you so much for joining us Raf!

About the Author:
Susan Kaye Quinn grew up in California, where she wrote snippets of stories and passed them to her fries during class. She pursued a bunch of engineering degrees and worked a lot of geeky jobs, including turns at GE Aircraft Engines, NASA, and NCAR. Now that she writes novels, her business card says "Author and Rocket Scientist" and she doesn't have to sneak her notes anymore. All that engineering comes in handy when dreaming up paranormal powers in future worlds or mixing science with fantasy to conjure slightly plausible inventions. Susan writes form the Chicago suburbs with her three boys, two cats, one husband. Which, it turns out, is exactly as much as she can handle. 
You can find Susan at....

Giveaway Time!
Sue if offering one 
lucky person an e-copy 
of Open Minds.
Open internationally.
Giveaway Policy Applies
Ends May 24 @ Midnight EST

Use this  for an extra entry

FTC Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.  I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.  


Michelle Chew said...

Zero and Reader. Such a clear distinction and obviously there's so much going on in the books. Holy... 2 persons of interest? <3 Glad you have enjoyed reading it despite that one scene. Thanks for sharing your review and the delightful interview. :)

C.J. Listro said...

This sounds like something I'd love! Reminds me a bit of Scott Westerfield's books for some reason. Very original concept, that's for sure. Can't wait to see how she dealt with the mindreading. Adding it to my to-read list!


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